Far Infrared Training is Good for the Brain

Posted February 16, 2020

Working out inside of an infrared sauna is good for your brain.  Peripheral exposure to far infrared (FIR) can stimulate the central nervous system, while exercise and FIR both can facilitate an increase in the level of oxygen to the brain.

Peripheral FIR exposure stimulates brain functions…

The central nervous system, consisting of the brain and spinal cord, gathers data from the entire body in the effort to coordinate all bodily activity.  The importance of a healthy central nervous system needs no elaboration.

It is important to note that, “the body experiences its [FIR] energy as a gentle radiant heat which can penetrate up to 1.5 inches (almost 4 cm) beneath the skin.”1 The exposure to radiant energy of far infrared stimulates the central nervous system.

One reason for the far infrared stimulation is the fact that the body is made of up to 60% water, and, “water content is a critical factor in the interaction between FIR and living organisms.”2 The brain itself has an even higher water content than the rest of the body at approximately 73%. We know that water is important for the vibrational interaction between cells and infrared radiation.

Integrating to the brain through the hypothalamus, the autonomic responses regulate blood pressure and the non-conscious rate of breathing. This is the part of the nervous system that works automatically and autonomously with blood vessels and internal organs which include the stomach, intestine, liver, kidneys, bladder, genitals, lungs, pupils, heart, digestive glands along with sweat and saliva. This system also prepares the body for fight or flight.

One study to investigate autonomic responses with the use of peripheral FIR stimulation concluded that, “the central manifestation and the autonomic responses are prominent during and after FIR stimulation…”3

In addition, optical stimulation from peripheral FIR exposure may present an alternative approach to infrared neural stimulation. In an article published online by The Optical Society, a case is made for optical stimulation as, “a simple yet novel approach to contact-free in vivo [non-invasive process performed within the body] neural activation that has major implications for clinical neurosurgery, basic neurophysiology, and neuroscience.”4

Another topic of importance is the flow of oxygen to the brain. The brain needs oxygen for optimum performance as it, “is the most complex organ in the body and uses 20 percent of the total oxygen we breathe in.”5

Exposure to FIR and exercise can greatly enhance the delivery of oxygen to the brain by improving the circulatory system in the body.

I can personally attest to the immediate effects of elevated alertness and focus that can result from an infrared workout.  Four to five times per week during the work day I train inside of the HOTWORX infrared sauna with a colleague during lunchtime. The mental boost I get for the rest of my work day is awesome.  With a mid-day FIR stimulation and increased blood flow to my brain the HOTWORX training session helps me to make better decisions. In other words, I practice infrared training to gain a better quality of thought.

Give your brain some stimulation through exercise combined with FIR!

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3699878/
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3699878/
3 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266084625_Effects_of_far-infrared_radiation_on_heart_rate_variability_and_central_manifestations_in_healthy_subjects_a_resting-fMRI_study
4 https://www.osapublishing.org/ol/abstract.cfm?uri=OL-30-5-504
5 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307076

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Stephen P. Smith, MA

CEO and Creator of the HOTWORX
Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player
Certified Professional Trainer